At 13:00 on Wednesday 9 October students on the Rooiplein will be greeted by a performance art installation by The Platform. This group, consisting of current and past students of Stellenbosch University, is performing for the benefit of the Lalela Project, an internationally active nonprofit for the empowerment of disadvantaged children through art.
Update: the event has been moved to inside the Neelsie due to weather considerations.
The performance on the Rooiplein is specifically focused on collecting essential menstrual care products (pads and tampons) and funds for those products for the girls in the Lalela Project’s grade 8 Women Empowerment class. A broader theme of the performance is also the destigmatisation of the female body, which is especially striking in the current climate of awareness surrounding violence against women.
Lalela (meaning “to listen” in Zulu) was founded in 2010 with the goal of using art as empowerment, teaching children in vulnerable communities creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills. They have teams in Cape Town, Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Northern Uganda, with representation in New York.
The Platform was established by Kirsty Adams, a singer, songwriter, violinist and composer, to bring together various arts departments at Stellenbosch University, and specifically to engage in non-profit work through the arts. Adams, who completed both a BMus and MMus in composition at SU, released her debut EP in April and two accompanying music videos.
In January 2017 The Platform gave their first performance in the open space outside the Endler Hall, donating the proceeds to the Michael Parks Foundation, and in 2018 their beneficiary was the Anna Foundation.
On the goal of The Platform, Adams explained: “Our mission is to give the unspoken a voice through the arts. No-one really talks about education in rural societies, and no-one – for sure – talks about menstruation, especially during the awakening to the horrors of gender-based violence.”
According to a press release by The Platform, “this performance pre-empts the International Day of the Girl on 11 October. In honour of this day and what it stands for, The Platform hopes to resonate a message of destigmatising the female body and to create comfortable spaces for young girls and young women to care for and love their bodies.”
This performance forms part of and serves as the “grand finale” of a larger social media campaign. Those that cannot attend in person are encouraged to consider donating directly to Lalela:
Account Owner: Lalela Project Trust Bank: Investec Bank Limited Branch: 100 Grayston drive Branch Code: 58 01 05 Type of Account: Current Account Account Number: 10012171480 Reference: THE PLATFORM or FEMALE EMPOWERMENT
Kirsty Adams, from @kirstystunes on Instagram.